A court has issued non-bailable warrants against five persons, including Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Sukhpal Singh Khaira, in a case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The others are Khaira’s personal security officer (PSO) Joga Singh; personal assistant Manish; UK-based Charanjit Kaur, a resident of Bath village (Jalandhar); and Major Singh Bajwa of Bajwa Kalan village (Jalandhar). All have been summoned to be present in the court on November 30 and stand trial under Sections 29, 30, 27-A and 23 of the Act.
The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Sandeep Singh Jossan directed the prosecution to file a supplementary challan against Khaira and the others.
The court had awarded sentence to nine convicts in the trans-border heroin smuggling case that surfaced here in 2015.
Khaira’s name cropped up due to his alleged association with Gurdev Singh, who has been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment. Gurdev is a former chairman of the Market Committee, Dhilwan.
Meanwhile, rival parties demanded Khaira’s resignation over his alleged links with convicted drug smugglers.
Alleging political vendetta, Khaira refused to resign, arguing that other leaders had held on to their posts despite facing court cases. He asked Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Akali leaders Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia to quit party/government posts before seeking his resignation.
HS Phoolka, former Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assemmble, said Khaira had been framed, “It is astonishing that he has been summoned without any FIR against him or his indictment in any inquiry. This is sheer political vendetta,” he said. Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh Khaira said the Congress and the Akalis had joined hands to silence him as he had been exposing leaders of these parties.
Khaira stated that in case Capt Amarinder and Sukhbir offered to give up their positions to uphold ethics and morality in politics, he would follow suit in “five minutes” and step down from the post of Leader of the Opposition.
State Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said there was no political vendetta behind the summoning of Khaira. “He has been summoned by a court, not the police or a government official,” the Gurdaspur MP said.